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On Gun Control Emotions Matter

By Roy Speckhardt

April 10, 2013

With the recent progress in the U.S. Senate on gun control, national attention is finally returning to the issue of gun ownership. How much we should control gun ownership in America is a question that divides religions, families and even some humanists--whose frequently progressive views might lead people to falsely assume that humanists aim to outlaw all guns. Our nation has a history of gun ownership that goes back all the way to our struggle for independence and our trouble with the criminal use of firearms goes back almost as far. Leaders on both sides recognize the need for some limits; according to a new poll by Mayors Against Illegal Guns even members of the National Rifle Association aren't arguing for everyone to be able to buy any gun, anytime, without some restrictions.

Still, a recurring problem with contemporary gun ownership is that any conversation about the issue is obstructed by the powerful moneyed interests in the gun and ammo industries. The other side of the debate doesn't have anything like gun advocates' access to resources. The result is that a majority of people who understand the desire of Americans to own guns but want to regulate how they are purchased are routinely lumped with those who want to outlaw all firearms. And as Michael Pearson of CNN points out, they are often labeled by gun lobbyists as un-American tyrants who want to oppress innocent citizens merely trying to protect themselves.

Read the rest of this Huffington Post piece here

Roy SpeckhardtRoy Speckhardt is the executive director of the American Humanist Association.